Jul 25, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Houston Astros starting pitcher Erik Bedard (45) during their game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Astros 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Risk/Reward- Canadian SP Erik Bedard

Sep 22, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Erik Bedard (45) delivers in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

How do you win at the major league level? What is the Blue Jays biggest need this offseason?

Answer: Pitching!

Yesterday was a big day for the Blue Jays as they decided to not put a tender on SP Josh Johnson which should leave some fans confused, some concerned and other happy. Coming into 2013 the hype around the team was about the offseason additions and one of its biggest additions was Josh Johnson. Fast forward to mid October 2013 and fans could not be happy with the 2-8 record with a disastrous 6.20 ERA Mr Johnson posted. As a result of this with his recent medical history, and the amount of money it would take to tender him, the team made the decision to cut ties and move in a new direction. What direction? Maybe someone from north of the border like Canadian SP Erik Bedard.

Yes I know it’s not 2007 and Erik is not coming off a sub 3 ERA in over 150 innings pitched, but he showed enough in Houston last season for the Blue Jays to have a look and sign him for the teams number 5 Starting pitcher role or long relief. Lets look below at some career numbers for Erik

2007 28 BAL 13 5 3.16 28 28 1 182.0 1.088
2008 29 SEA 6 4 3.67 15 15 0 81.0 1.321
2009 30 SEA 5 3 2.82 15 15 0 83.0 1.193

2011 32 TOT 5 9 3.62 24 24 0 129.1 1.284
2011 32 SEA 4 7 3.45 16 16 0 91.1 1.172
2011 32 BOS 1 2 4.03 8 8 0 38.0 1.553
2012 33 PIT 7 14 5.01 24 24 0 125.2 1.472
2013 34 HOU 4 12 4.59 32 26 0 151.0 1.483

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/4/2013.

Fun Facts:

• Last year the Houston Astros paid Erik Bedard $1,150,000 and they got 32 games and 151 innings. The Blue Jays paid $11,250,000 million of Josh Johnson’s salary and got 16 starts, 81 innings and an ERA almost 2 points higher.

• Last year the Blue Jays needed 13 different pitchers to start games for them and only 5 had a better ERA then the 4.59 ERA Erik posted last year.

• Erik’s 151 innings would have ranked him 3rd on the Blue Jays for innings pitched behind Mark Buehrle an RA Dickey.

• When looking at the starters, only Todd Redmond and Josh Johnson had better k/9 then Erik Bedard who had an above average 8.2.

To sum this up, why not offer a one year $1,500,000 deal with incentives? This Canadian pitcher can bring a little leadership and a ton of ability at a good price. The savings from a signing like this can go elsewhere to help this team contend. Nobody would be crazy enough to say this would be a home run deal, but the upside on a player like Bedard at its cost is worth while for the Pitcher hungry Blue Jays.

  • revolu888

    Bedard’s strikeout rate is good, but his control is awful. Not to mention he has never pitched 200 innings. He has averaged 135 innnings over the past 3 years. Right now he is a bare upgrade over Happ. I do not envision us signing him unless we are truly desparate for pitching.

    • Andrew van Laar

      I agree with what you say but he is A LOT cheaper than HAPP is.

      • revolu888

        True, but Happ’s not going anywhere unless we trade him. Besides, if you’re going to aim, aim higher. And someone who is more durable please.

    • Justin Jay

      I’m with ya on the innings. It’s a big deal. You won’t see him go past 6 innings. Last year, he was throwing a no hitter, but had a high pitch count. He pulled himself out of the game in the 6th. That’s been Bedard’s MO. High pitch counts, out of the game by the 6th or sooner. I know the pen is good, but you’re asking a lot of a guy with a long list of injuries and minimal success over the last 4 years… even if the price is right

  • Bob Loblaw

    I could see this signing if, say, they were looking to add depth because guys like Happ or Redmond get traded, but my god I hope he’s not one of the top 5. What if he’d sign a deal with an option and start at AAA? Someone’s bound to get injured.

    • Bob Loblaw

      On the other hand, that’s a lot of innings for not a lot of money… I wonder, is it enough of a discount to allow you to pursue Infante or Pierzynski, or maybe Ellis or Ruiz and still add a power pitcher?